Book  Review:
Making Marks:Discovering the Ceramic Surface.
Robin Hopper's latest book  is beautiful!
"It is largely the approach to the ceramic surface that determines the ultimate personality of the work that is done." - Robin Hopper
This book begins with  fundamental ideas about drawing, signs, patterns, colour theory,etc.  It then goes on to detail every conceivable method of decoration.
  It is  illustrated with such a wide variety of top notch ceramicists that it is a pleasure to peruse and it is interesting to see the depth of  Hopper's  insight.  His knowledge  is supplemented with inserts by various potters such as Lana Wilson on  impressions made by stamps  or for another example, Stephen Hill on spraying glazes.  This book is a pleasure to own and a pleasure to keep referring back to.
Order this book  from  Amazon
United States


Ottawa - Of all the excellent work in various media at this show, we naturally concentrate on the works in clay. It was a well attended opening and even rather noisy, not quite the atmosphere for quiet contemplation of the works but great to see such numbers in attendance.
Géraldine Petit-Gras won first place for Best New Artist with her 'Coralline-The Sea Dragon'.  This continues her work using sea like imagery and drawing upon  myths and symbols of Mediterranean inspiration.  ( Click on the photos for larger pictures.)

 Geraldine Pétit-Gras

     Sandra  Marshall
Sandra Marshall poses with her piece 'Mimicry'. This is a contemplation on how animals could be a mimic for certain people. Sandra worked from a photo of a famous person than overlaid an owl like mask. The head is open at the top and inside you can see green marbles, another clue as to who this person could be.
    Cecilia Noriega

Helen Stone
Celcilia Noriega's work is always fun.  She poses here with two works 'At the Park' in clay and wood and 'Children Playing'.  
Helen Stone displayed 3 works in her luscious raku work with copper wire additions.  Pictured here is a work called "Tropical".
Saskia Praamsma 's  3 pieces were more vessel oriented than is often the case with her work but actually had an  architectural theme with 'Tower #1', 'Tower #2, and "Jail Building'.

Saskia Praamsma
Writing Lessons from Pottery Masters: an article Posted by Frank Giovinazzi  describes"mud in the blood - an unwavering calling to work with clay every day. No matter the sacrifice". As if you didn't know it, but it feels good to hear it from a non-potter, a writer in fact who says writers can learn from potters. Read the article on
Hot Clay Sites to Visit
There  are many good clay sites out there. Here are a few we have selected as being particularly worth a visit.
For Starters:begin your surfing  at Jim Speers Pottery site .  Jim's  site  has a whole list of  people , places, and things  to do in the "websites" section of his menu. Jim's graphics are a lot of  fun too. Check out his 3 D renderings of pots in various settings.  They're really neat, and check out his production ware-way cool!  Then go surf  the world  from his links.

Another  good set of links particularly for European and  Netherland potters is the list compiled by Mels Boom. Check out his own site through the animated banner top of the page.  His work is displayed attractively in a horizontal  row of images.  Grouped into paintings, ceramics, objects, and furniture, most of it is pretty funky with bright colours.  His paintings though have a darker side despite their colourfulness.  Interesting raku pieces too in black and white.  You will want to bookmark this page for its links and check particularly the ones he has marked (tip).

Bridgette Moron  employs three different techniques in her raku work.  Click on the photo page and enlarge the first  photo.  There you will see a unique  raku  lidded container, full of wonderful contrasts in colour and texture.  Follow the arrows and enjoy the rest of the show.  (For English, you can go to the Google translation page and paste in the web address.  The web site then appears in English.)  

Art of the Pot  is an interesting event held at a high school in Austin Texas featuring Texan and nationally known potters.  The goal of the festival is to educate the public about ceramics.  Check out the artists like Lana Wilson and others as well as the archives.  Some of the archive links don't work any longer but there are jewels to be found here. 

Another page from Austin worth visiting is an old list of favourite artists called Modern Studio Ceramics
Again many of the links no longer work  but those that do are worth it.

John Hesselberth of FrogPond Pottery.
His newly redone site  has interesting graphics. A motif along the left side of the screen is found on his pots as well, reflecting his interest in geometric patterns and African art. Included on the site are his portfolio, his show schedule, galleries that represent him, and links to other potters. Particularly noteworthy is his section "Information about Pottery". Topics such as "Buying Tips, Care of Pottery, Lead in Glazes, Raku" etc. educate the public, students doing research on the web, and beginning potters. Also, John's articles published in Clay Times are included here. You will find tips on drip-free spouts, minimizing cracking and warping, taking high quality photographs of pottery and links to sites offering technical information. The site is well layed out and navigation is easy. Indeed this is a model potter's site, one well worth checking out and adding to your bookmark list.